Berry French Toast Bake

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Well, hello! It’s been approximately eight million years since I posted a recipe. This possibly has to do with the insanity of having four children and the added bonus that right before I had Hannah in October, my real camera decided to stop working.

(I’m pretty sure it has sand in the lens and won’t retract … but it would probably cost more to fix than to replace it. Argh.)

My husband keeps telling me my iPhone will take pictures that are just as good. I don’t really think so, but they’re good enough for me, for now.

This is one of the recipes I’ve probably made the most over the last six or seven years. It’s my go-to when I want to take a meal to someone; I find that when there’s a meal train, people usually bring chicken casseroles or pasta. And that is fine and AWESOME, but I think breakfast for dinner mixes it up a little.

This Berry French Toast recipe comes from Cooking During Stolen Moments, which was one of my VERY favorite food blogs ever. Almost everything I ever made from there was a hit. Unfortunately, the site is not accessible any more. I am so glad I had this one written down in my recipe book so I didn’t lose the recipe! I’ve only adapted it slightly – mostly I just skimp on the berries because I like a lot of chewy, eggy bread. It’s delicious with fresh berries of any kind, but you could also use frozen ones – or peaches!

Serve with a side of bacon or sausage for a delicious meal any time of day.

Berry French Toast Bake

Yield: about 8 servings

Berry French Toast Bake

Delicious berry-enhanced French toast casserole is taken over the top with a brown sugar drizzle.

Ingredients

  • 1 loaf French or Italian bread
  • 2 to 3 c. berries
  • 6 eggs
  • 1 1/2 c. milk
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1/2 tsp. almond extract
  • 2 oz. cream cheese, cut into cubes
  • 4 T butter
  • 1 c. light brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. cinnamon

Instructions

Start with day-old bread, or cut bread into large cubes a few hours before you want to start making this and let them sit out to get slightly stale. Slice strawberries into quarters. Blueberries, raspberries, and blackberries can be left whole.

Place a layer of bread cubes in a 9x13-inch baking dish. Add most of the berries, reserving about 1/2 cup. Top with the rest of the bread cubes.

Whisk together eggs, milk, vanilla, and almond extract. Pour evenly over the bread. Top with remaining berries, then dot with cream cheese pieces. Refrigerate at least 6 hours or overnight.

Preheat oven to 375F. In a small saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. Add brown sugar and whisk together until the sugar begins to melt and the mixture is smooth, about 4-5 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in cinnamon. Drizzle sugar topping over the casserole. Bake for about 40-45 minutes, covered, until egg is set.

Let sit for a few minutes before cutting and serving.

Notes

To make dairy-free, use almond milk instead of dairy milk and leave out the cream cheese. If you are taking to a new mom who is breastfeeding, you might ask if she is avoiding dairy. (I usually am.)

http://www.jessieweaver.net/2017/06/berry-french-toast-bake/

What’s your favorite breakfast for dinner?

 

Asparagus and Goat Cheese Frittata

This post may contain affiliate links. Please see my Disclosure statement for more details.

Asparagus and goat cheese frittata

I’ve been working on an article this past week about farm-fresh foods that will run in a magazine in April. It can be hard to think about spring vegetables when it’s September, but I took an inspirational trip around Fresh Market.

Which is always problematic for me.

Fresh Market always smells like cinnamon, at least around the fall, and I am pretty sure they put some chemicals in that scent that make you want to spend all your money there. Unfortunately, it’s right by my gym, so when I am leaving the gym and starving I think, “Hmmm … I could just stop by Fresh Market and grab a $9 sandwich!”

Anyway, I get paid for these articles so I figured it was OK to spend money on good produce with which to experiment. I got a little happy, though, and came home with every spring-type thing I could find: asparagus, beets, leeks, strawberries, broccoli, and radishes. For three recipes.

This asparagus recipe is one I decided was a little too upscale in taste for a magazine aimed at parents. I really don’t know what I was thinking, other than I wanted to use asparagus and was hungry. If your kids will eat asparagus and goat cheese, more power to you! When I was chatting about this on Facebook, one of my friends said his kids thought it looked “hairy” with the dill. Ha! Oh, children. Maybe some day.

So while this recipe is delicious, I am 100% positive my children wouldn’t touch it with a 10-foot pole. Sigh. Oh well, all the more for me.

(I am certain this would also be delicious as a quiche, and that was my original intent, but then I got lazy. A quiche will need to bake longer, though, usually 45-60 minutes at 350 in my experience.)

Asparagus and Goat Cheese Frittata

Yield: 6-8 slices

Asparagus and Goat Cheese Frittata

Ingredients

  • 1 bunch fresh asparagus
  • 1 T butter or bacon grease
  • salt and pepper, plus ½ teaspoon salt and ¼ teaspoon pepper
  • 5 eggs
  • ¾ c. whole milk or half-and-half
  • ¼ tsp. dried dill or 1 tsp. fresh dill, chopped
  • ½ c. goat cheese crumbles

Instructions

Preheat oven to 400F. Snap asparagus ends off. Cut asparagus into 2-inch pieces.

In a 12-inch, ovenproof skillet, melt butter or bacon grease over medium heat. Add asparagus pieces, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and saute 5-7 minutes, until crisp-tender. Remove from heat.

In a mixing bowl, whisk together eggs, milk, dill, ½ teaspoon salt, and ¼ teaspoon pepper. Sprinkle goat cheese crumbles over the asparagus, then pour egg mixture over it all.

Bake 20 minutes, until eggs are set. Let cool slightly before cutting into slices.

**If you use a smaller skillet, your frittata will be fluffier, but it may need to cook a little longer.

http://www.jessieweaver.net/2015/09/asparagus-and-goat-cheese-frittata/

Peanut Butter Pie with Pretzel Crust

This post may contain affiliate links. Please see my Disclosure statement for more details.

Peanut Butter Pie with Pretzel Crust

I was working on my recipe column for HomeLife this weekend and got tempted by a recipe I came across on Cookin’ Mimi for Peanut Butterscotch Pie. My column this month was about Valentine’s Day sweets (yep, we work that far ahead), and after looking at recipes and recipes and recipes for sweet stuff I simply couldn’t help myself. I had to make this pie.

I didn’t have a graham cracker crust, though, and had no fervent desire to roll out a real pie crust. But I did have … pretzels. Hey, pretzels and peanut butter love each other! It hasn’t been that long since I made Chubby Hubby Truffles, proving that combination’s perfection.

So I unearthed a recipe for a simple pretzel crust and used the filling from Micha’s fabulous pie. It’s gooey, kind of like a peanut butter caramel. The sweet-salty combination is fantastic. (Obviously I am not the only person who likes this, as Micha herself pointed out she’d made a different peanut butter filling with a pretzel crust recently!)

Peanut Butter Pretzel Pie

We shared this with friends on a beautiful, last-drops-of-summer night, while our infant boys wiggled and grinned, David did a puzzle, and the girls actually played together without fighting. (They must be growing up!) God dwells in those moments when food creates community, don’t you think?

Peanut Butter Pie with Pretzel Crust

Peanut Butter Pie with Pretzel Crust

Crust recipe from King Arthur. Filling from Cookin' Mimi.

Ingredients

    Crust:
  • 1 c. + 2 T finely ground salted pretzel crumbs
  • 7 T melted butter
  • 3 T sugar
  • Filling:
  • 1 ½ c. packed light brown sugar
  • 6 T flour
  • 1 ½ c. milk
  • 2 egg yolks, slightly beaten
  • 1/4 c. peanut butter
  • ½ tsp. vanilla

Instructions

Spray a 9-inch pie pan with cooking spray or lightly grease with butter. Preheat oven to 350F.

Mix together pretzel crumbs, melted butter, and sugar.

Press into the bottom and up the sides of the pie pan. Bake at 350F for abut 8 minutes. Set aside to cool.

In a large, heavy-bottomed saucepan, whisk together brown sugar and flour. With stove on medium-low heat, whisk in milk slowly. Stir frequently until the mixture thickens. (This may take awhile.)

Temper the egg yolks by slowly streaming in a tiny bit of hot liquid and whisking rapidly. Keep adding hot liquid until mixture is all hot. Then add all back to the pot and cook another three minutes.

Remove from heat and stir in peanut butter and vanilla.

Let filling cool slightly before pouring into the crust. Smooth out top. Refrigerate for a few hours or until ready to serve.

http://www.jessieweaver.net/2013/09/peanut-butter-pie-with-pretzel-crust/

What is your favorite kind of pie? I’ll admit I’m not usually a pie baker. But I’m getting more adventurous in my baking pursuits. I have a hard time passing up pecan pie myself!

Welcome Home Wednesdays

Green Chile Egg Bake

This post may contain affiliate links. Please see my Disclosure statement for more details.

For a long time, the only egg casserole I ever made was the very standard one I grew up with: white bread, sausage, cheddar cheese, a dozen eggs.

It’s certainly not that it’s BAD by any means! We love it here and gobble it up often. But sometimes it’s just fun to branch out, isn’t it?

I make something for my husband’s five dorm kids that he meets with every Wednesday morning for their meetings. I try to aim for breakfast food, since they meet at 9:45 a.m. I don’t think they’ve ever REFUSED cupcakes, but if they’re anything like I was in high school, they probably haven’t eaten any breakfast before class.

I’ve made them everything from Jalapeno Popper Quiche to frozen sausage biscuits and it all disappears.

This week, I pulled out this egg bake recipe that I made when we were first married and my mother-in-law bought me a subscription to Simple and Delicious magazine. Back then, I was much more obedient and I am sure I followed the recipe.

Now, I’d rather take a simple recipe and make it a little bit better with my own additions. And this one I think I improved a lot with the easy add-ons of real milk, sour cream, salt, and garlic powder.

It’s another easy breakfast for guests, and we all know they’re going to come streaming in with the holidays coming!

Green Chile Egg Bake

Cook Time: 1 hour

Yield: 9 servings

Green Chile Egg Bake

An overnight egg casserole with a twist: delicious green chiles bring wonderful flavor to basic breakfast eggs and potatoes.

Adapted from Taste of Home's Simple and Delicious

Ingredients

  • 4 c. frozen, shredded hash browns, thawed
  • garlic powder
  • salt
  • 6 to 8 oz. ham or Canadian bacon, diced
  • 4 oz. chopped green chiles (canned)
  • 1 c. sharp cheddar cheese You can use pepperjack or a mix of the two for more of a Southwest flair
  • 6 eggs
  • 1 1/4 c. milk
  • 1/4 c. sour cream
  • 1/4 tsp. black pepper

Instructions

In a greased 8x8 casserole dish, spread hash browns. Sprinkle generously with garlic powder and salt.

Layer ham/bacon, green chiles, and cheese on top of hash browns.

In a bowl, whisk together eggs, milk, sour cream, and pepper. Pour evenly over casserole.

Refrigerate overnight.

Bake at 375 for 1 hour or until eggs are set. Let cool for 10 minutes before cutting.

http://www.jessieweaver.net/2012/09/green-chile-egg-bake/

Lightened-Up Broccoli and Cheese Soup

This post may contain affiliate links. Please see my Disclosure statement for more details.

I have become a blogaholic in my old age. OK, maybe I am just catching on with the rest of humanity. But I saw this fun little thing today on boomama‘s blog and thought it would be fun to share one my favorite recipes. This one makes me all warm and tingly inside and my tummy extremely happy!

My sweet friend Laurie from 3FC posted this awesome broccoli and cheese soup recipe, which she found in Cooking Light and modified for the South Beach Diet. Laurie is a queen and has lost almost 100 lbs. She is my hero. Anyway, I’ve also changed the recipe slightly, mostly because it calls for pureeing part of it and I smashed my blender to pieces on the pantry floor and don’t have a food processor. I like it chunky anyway.

Broccoli and Cheese Soup

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 25 minutes

Total Time: 35 minutes

Yield: 6 servings

Serving Size: 1 1/3 cup

Calories per serving: 203

Fat per serving: 6.3

This lightened-up soup is from a 2002 issue of Cooking Light

Ingredients

  • Cooking spray
  • 1 c. chopped onion
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 3 c. fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 (16-ounce) package broccoli florets (Or two heads, chopped fine)
  • 2 1/2 c. skim milk
  • 1/3 c. whole wheat flour
  • 1/4 tsp. black pepper
  • 6 oz. Velveeta shreds (or regular block Velveeta, cubed)
  • 2 oz. lowfat sharp cheddar cheese

Instructions

Heat a large nonstick saucepan coated with cooking spray over medium-high heat. Add onion and garlic; saute 3 minutes or until tender. Add broth and broccoli. Bring broccoli mixture to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to medium; cook 10 minutes.

Combine milk and flour, stirring with a whisk until well blended. Add milk mixture to broccoli mixture. Cook 5-10 minutes or until slightly thick, stirring constantly. Stir in pepper. Remove from heat; add cheese, stirring until cheese melts.

http://www.jessieweaver.net/2007/12/my-favorite-soup-i-have-become/

Added to Ingredient Spotlight: Broccoli